More than 80 percent of students at Mission Elementary in this growing Bay Area suburb are from low-income backgrounds and are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. Some have incarcerated parents, or have witnessed violence. When principal Monte Gregg arrived eight years ago, the number of office referrals and suspensions was high, disrespect rampant.

What really turned things around, she said, was introducing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports in 2014 to better manage school discipline and improve school culture for all students. The Antioch Unified School District rolled out the approach in a number of other schools that same year.

The approach sets clear behavioral expectations for all students and rewards them daily for complying, through ticket systems like the Mustang Market. It also establishes specific consequences for violations of that code of conduct that are applied equally to all. And it requires detailed data tracking and analysis of student behavior problems.

Research shows that successfully implementing the approach reduces suspensions as well as overall behavior problems that result in student referrals to the principal’s office. It can improve academic performance, attendance, and the ability of students to regulate their emotions and behave in socially appropriate ways. It also enhances students’ perception of safety and reduces teacher burnout.

Read the full article on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports by Lee Romney at EdSource